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Chicago Creative Caterers

Browse these creative caterers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Chicago.

Top Pro
  • 4 years in business
  • 320 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Carl T.
Verified review

Small dinner party for 7 - everything was perfect, from prep time to hors d'oeuvres to main course to clean up. Chef Rich Mancini and assistant Cathy DiGiovanni were engaging but not intrusive, professional, creative and made optimal use of somewhat limited utensils in my kitchen. Every single menu item was fresh, delicious, perfectly proportioned and presented. Could not have been better!!

North Island Catering
4.8
from 147 reviews
  • 32 years in business
  • 268 hires on Thumbtack
Marquita Y.
Verified review

Great food! would have given 5 stars but I ordered a special plate for my friend who has food allergies and is gluten free we never got the order that we paid for. I was also charged additional fees that were never agreed upon in the original contract.

Chic Chef Catering
4.8
from 130 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 200 hires on Thumbtack
Patrick Q.
Verified review

We hired Ravi and his team to cater our wedding and they were incredible. We had a great tasting with Ravi and his head chef and we knew their food would be a hit. When we arrived at cocktail hour, the appetizers were already gone! People loved them. Thankfully, Ravi and his servers had set some aside for the wedding party without us even asking. His staff worked hard serving our guests and tending bar. They were fun and incredibly hard working. We would definitely recommend for anyone looking for a creative catering company that is capable of customizing an unforgettable menu. The whole process was very easy and Ravi and his company were able to take care of everything we needed without hesitation. Thank you!

Inglenook Catering
4.9
from 103 reviews
  • 50 years in business
  • 133 hires on Thumbtack
Joann D.
Verified review

I happened to find Inglenook Catering and Joe on a quick search for local caterers. I wanted to try a different caterer with a different menu. My daughter picked the menu, and it was pretty traditional....Italian beef, Italian sausage, fried chicken, mostacolli, green beans almandine, and scalloped potatoes. Truly, I wanted to explore other items on the menu, but since I offered and it was her choice, that's what I went with. The Italian beef and sausage were homemade and definitely amazing! Great flavor and seasonings! The fried chicken was delicious as well! Everything was warmed and ready to serve. Would definitely order from Joe again! Thank you so very much for the prompt communication and coming to assist with the drop off. My guests throughly enjoyed your catering Joe, and I will definitely recommend you to my friends! Would love to try other entrees next time!!

Top Pro
Cater~2~U Catering LLC
5.0
from 49 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 68 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Kevin B.
Verified review

We have had many private chefs and caterers. We have found our “go to” chef service. Food was amazing. Mike and Matt were fun. They entertained the kids at the bar as they cooked, served.. and cleaned up. If you have never had a personal chef, try them. If you have before, uplevel to them. And by the way.. the cost was a bargain. Dinner for 8 with wine and beer pairing Less than $100 per person Insanely goid!

Top Pro
Just a Bite
4.9
from 50 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 76 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Janet B.
Verified review

I've used Just a Bite several times to cater parties. The owner is extremely easy to work with and made great menu suggestions. My events had themes and the food was perfectly matched to the theme. The food was beautifully presented and tasted great. I know things are made from scratch with quality ingredients and you can taste the difference. Nothing makes a hostess feel better than having guests say positive things about the food, and that happens every time I use this caterer. Most importantly, the owner delivered beyond my expectations and stayed within my budget. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this caterer to friends and family.

  • 29 years in business
  • 63 hires on Thumbtack
Adam S.
Verified review

Professional caterer with great menu and quality food. Excellent service.

TLC Personal Cheffing
4.8
from 28 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 31 hires on Thumbtack
R Kim H.
Verified review

Chef Karen is not only a creative and expert Chef she is delightful. Her menu was inventive from my eyes but it all went together in a very healthy and delicious way! She answered all my questions expertly AND even got me to eat beets... a first, they were good made the way she made them! Thank YOU, Chef Karen!

Top Pro
Food with Flair
5.0
from 24 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 26 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lynn O.
Verified review

This was my first time hiring a caterer, and I was not disappointed. This was also my first time using Thumbtack. Had never even heard of it before googling “caterers near me”. Carol of Food with Flair did a wonderful job catering a family outdoor BBQ at my home for my dad’s 90th birthday. We had 25 people in attendance, and many commented on how good the food was. She was very responsive from the moment she and I were matched through Thumbtack, all the way through my event. She helped plan the meal, making suggestions on food items that were popular at other BBQs she had catered; arrived promptly the day of the event with much of the food prep completed and the remainder completed once she arrived; provided the warming trays, serving dishes, and serving utensils; grilled the meat (hamburgers and chicken) on my Weber grill; set up the serving table; had the meal ready in a timely fashion; put away leftovers for me; and left my kitchen clean. She also was able to work with dietary restrictions. She offered to provide paper goods and make arrangements for other supplies (e.g. canopy), which I declined. She brought two pineapple upside down cakes (my Dad’s favorite), and because we had neglected to discuss which of us would provide the candles, she decided to play it safe and brought a “9” & a “0” candle for one of the cakes. For the other cake she had a friend create a diecut that read “Happy 90th Birthday” in colors that coordinated with the cake. It was a nice, thoughtful surprise. While I had thought about asking whether she offered tastings, I didn’t due to the small size of my party; the short time frame between booking the party and the event itself; and her experience as an executive chef. I trusted that the food would be good, and it was. But I can’t share whether she offers tastings or not. My husband and I were very pleased with the service Carol provided and would definitely use her again.

Top Pro
Gracious
5.0
from 23 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 35 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Pamela B.
Verified review

Clarissa was awesome. I had four shifts to feed over two days and nights and she was a pro. Definitely would do se again. Food was delicious

Top Pro
Chez Mikey
5.0
from 15 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 19 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Bonnie K.
Verified review

Mikey has been a great addition! He's very creative, responsive, professional and is very flexible! We've enjoyed having him in our home and his meals are delicious!

Mark Avila
5.0
from 13 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Nicole Y.
Verified review

It has always been a genuine pleasure to work with Mark Avila. He has helped us host in-home dinners for our First Class members on several occasions.  Working with Mark always gave me peace of mind when hosting monthly dinners for 10-12 of our guests each time. His attention to health, wellness and creative details made for our guests best experience and our best value. Mark prepares delicious, fresh and healthy food. He is always very engaging while educating you on the carefully curated ingredients and how he prepared them -- all with the utmost professionalism and panache. Hire him!

Kitchfix
4.5
from 13 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
Sabrina L.
Verified review

Josh is an incredibly talented chef and a great parson to have around. My family and I have enjoyed everything he's cooked for us and we continue to be amazed at his creativity and versatility. Josh's food is so flavorful and delicious, it's easy to forget how healthy everything is. Having Josh cook for us has been a great learning experience too. He's taught us a lot about about healthy living and inspired us to make better choices, even when we eat out.

Top Pro
BellaRu Catering
5.0
from 11 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
John D.
Verified review

The overall experience was exceptional and working with Maya was truly an amazing experience! The staff was professional and the food was delicious! Everything about the service provided was memorable and would recommend them to anyone needing a quality caterer. They took the stress off and allowed us to focus on the wedding. I can’t express how much I appreciate their service and how we were able to enjoy the wedding. Again, a big thank you to BellaRu Catering!

J's Catering
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Kim D.
Verified review

J's Catering - Urbano and his team were engaging, professional and an absolute joy to work with! His food is excellent! Some of the best tacos we've ever eaten. Urbano happily met all our requests for our gluten-free and vegetarian guests. He went above and beyond our expectations. We highly recommend J's Catering and look forward to working with them again!

PhylClay's Catering
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Richard W.
Verified review

PhylClay's Catering was very professional and made my guests feel like they were having a home cooked meal.

  • 5 years in business
Donavahn Frierson F.
Verified review

Divine Treats & Heavenly Eats is definitely one of the best and well organized catering services you can ask for. Ever since my first experience of DTHE sponsoring one of my college events a few years ago, I knew exactly who I wanted for my reception. Everything from Salmon ,to pasta and even Sweet tea; it is worth your time, your money and will complete your experience. Thank you so much Mrs. Vicki for assisting in completing one of the best day's of our lives

Baking & Catering Services
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
Stephanie P.
Verified review

You catered my daughters wedding. Small intimate affair in our home. It felt like the RITZ CARLTON!!! The food and desserts were amazing. The look of the party was more than what my daughter ever hoped for. Thank you for the amazing experience

CityEpicurean Events
4.6
from 5 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 10 hires on Thumbtack
Sarah J.
Verified review

I had a cupcake decorating party for my daughters 6th birthday. While Alysha was a tab late, everything was set up for the party on time. She was great with the kids and they all had a blast! It requires some patience to handle 12 screaming girls but Alysha was so kind. She cleaned up afterwards too. It was fantastic! Each child got a cute little apron as well and while their cupcakes weren't perfect, they loved sampling the frosting along and just had a good time.

ChefField Events & Catering
5.0
from 4 reviews
  • 4 hires on Thumbtack
Jacqeline H.
Verified review

Cheffield Events & Catering has to be one of the best caterers we have hired for the office. The food smelled and tasted amazing. Everyone was going back for seconds and thirds!!! We are a picky bunch, but we will be using Cheffield's in the future. They were prompt, professional and the presentations was great. We loved that they printed up a menu for our small gathering. We would recommend Cheffield Events & Catering for catering, and we hope to do many events with them.

Fyusion Dining
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Elaine L.
Verified review

I really never write reviews, but Alvin Yu and his team were amazing! Our guests really raved about all the food. (I need to get his recipe for the Asiago Crusted Chicken Breast - so tender!). And his servers and sous chefs really made the event. Their attention to detail and lovely personalities really made the atmosphere. They were so helpful beyond what I could have even asked for. We had 2 passed appetizers, then salad, 4 entrees and 3 sides served family style for 44 guests and everything was delicious and well timed. Alvin totally understood what I wanted and was able to seamlessly accommodate special dietary needs. He was very responsive to all my questions throughout the planning process and seriously made the event really so easy on me! And they really made our guests of honor feel very special, too. They really go above and beyond. A huge thank you to Fyusion Dining for making our event such a success!

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you find a good caterer?

Reviews, interviews and menu tastings will help you find the right catering choice for your big day. Start by screening possible wedding caterers based on past reviews. If a caterer you are interested in has a review that concerns you, ask them about it; how they respond will be very telling. Next, ask about their availability for your wedding date.

If the wedding caterer is available on your date, it’s time to talk about menus and prices. Be clear about what your maximum budget is find out what choices this will allow you. Caterers may custom-create a menu for your event, or they may have menu templates within different price ranges that can guide your decision. A clear budget gives the caterer clear parameters within which to work and offer creative suggestions. Schedule a menu tasting to confirm you love your wedding menu. Once you have a menu and date, and have paid a deposit to reserve the caterer’s services, confirm additional details including when the food will be delivered to the site, what kind of service will be provided, how many servers will be onsite and for how long, and who is responsible for setup and cleanup. The more specific your contract, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day. Get more smart hiring tips here.

How much does wedding catering cost per person?

Wedding catering costs will always vary based on the number of guests you’re inviting, the menu you want to serve, and the way the food will be served to your guests. As you interview wedding catering companies, you’ll be presented with a cost per person for various menus. On the low end, wedding catering may cost approximately $15-$18 per person. This would include prepared food only, with no setup or service of any kind. The starting price for a simple buffet meal with minimal service typically averages $22 per person. Opting for the same menu with all organic ingredients could raise your costs to about $33 per person. A moderately upscale menu (finer ingredients, more elaborate presentation) could range from $24 to $34 per person. High-end wedding catering cost truly has no limit. Lobster, filet mignon, specialty seafood, organic ingredients — menu choices like these can boost your cost per person up to $150 and more.

Do you tip a wedding caterer?

Tipping 15 percent to 20 percent on a $3,000 catering bill can feel daunting — especially in light of all the other costs of throwing a wedding — but tipping your wedding caterer is standard practice. Be sure to ask your caterer about their specific policies. Many catering companies include gratuity as a line item on their bill. If tipping is not automatically included in your total, a good approach is to tip all the people involved the day of the event rather than paying one lump sum to the catering company. For each server and bartender, you can tip $20-$50, depending on how long they were onsite and whether they did exceptional work. You can also tip the chef; experts suggest $50. It’s also a good idea to tip the catering manager, the point-of-contact person who keeps the catering service running smoothly the day of your wedding, ensures all the food looks beautiful and is plentiful, and resolves any mishaps. Industry pros recommend tipping the catering manager $100-$200. If gratuity is not included and you’re tipping individuals, set aside $200-$500 in cash to be safe.

How much does it cost to hire a caterer?

Catering prices depend mainly on how fancy you want the food and service to be and how many guests you’ll have. When you’re first looking to hire a caterer for your event, consider how many guests you’ll have and your total food and drink budget. The national average for event catering is $340, but catering prices can range into the thousands depending on your menu, guest count, and service.

Event catering is a broad term that covers everything from fully prepared, ready-to-eat food that the hosts plate and serve themselves to full-service, multicourse meals, including rental of linens, glassware and other items, with service staff organized by the catering company. Usually a caterer will determine cost based on the type of event you’re having, how many guests will attend, the level of service you desire, and what type of menu you’d like to have. For example, if you have a set catering budget, say $1,500, and you plan to have 50 people attend, that means you have $30 per person for food. If you have the same budget with 100 people, you have $15 per person for food. In this way, the number of people you want to attend your event and the level of food you want to serve them determines how much catering will cost.

What should you look for in a caterer?

A delicious meal is a critical element of a successful wedding, with happy guests fondly remembering your fabulous wedding food. The right caterer for you will be:

  • Available: Even the best caterer is no good if they aren’t available on your wedding date. Ask early before you get your heart set on someone.
  • Affordable for you: Find a caterer that you can afford. Having a spending plan ahead of time will mean you won’t overspend on food.
  • A good personality fit: Wedding planning is stressful, so work with someone that you can get along with and communicate with easily.
  • Experienced and recommended: Ensure the company has a proven track record with events of your size and the references to back it up.
  • Transparent about money: Steer clear of shady pricing. Find a caterer who is very clear about costs and is happy to talk you through budgets and pricing options.
  • Transparent about food: Find someone who is clear about where they source their food from and where it is prepared.
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